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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Koran students beaten and abused

A Times (UK) investigation has shown that Muslim children are being regularly beaten and otherwise abused in some UK madrassas (Islamic schools) during evening Koran classes.

“Students have been slapped, punched and had their ears twisted, according to an unpublished report by an imam based on interviews with victims in the north of England,” says the paper. “One was ‘picked up by one leg and spun around’ while another said a madrassa teacher was ‘kicking in my head – like a football’, says the report which was compiled by Irfan Chishti, a former government adviser on Islamic affairs.”

While there is no hard evidence to show just how many of Britain’s 1,600 madrassas are involved in beating children, The Times says it’s uncovered a particularly disturbing pattern in the Northern town of Rochdale.

“One woman told The Times that her niece Hiba, 7, was slapped across the face so hard by her madrassa teacher that her ear was cut,” says the paper. “It later became inflamed and she had to have emergency medical treatment.”

A disturbing fact The Times relates is that Madrassas and similar religious classes “are not subject to any regulation nor are their teachers required to be vetted by the Criminal Records Bureau”.

The paper says, “Many madrassas are not even known to the authorities because they are run on an ad hoc basis by people in their own living rooms. Even those attached to a mosque which is registered with the Charities Commission are not monitored.”

Such treatment of young people has even led to death in a madrassa in Pakistan, as we reported in May.

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